NAIROBI, Kenya, May 1 – NExT (New Export Trade) will invest €5 million (Approximately Sh650 million) in the Kenyan horticultural sector.
The EU funded programme will bring the amount to the sector over a four-year period starting April 2020.
The programme aims to increase the contribution of the horticultural sector to household income through the generation of employment opportunities and foreign currency, and to improve food security, food safety and nutrition by increasing the resilience, inclusiveness and sustainability of Kenyan horticultural value chains
Conceptualised by COLEACP in consultation with stakeholders, the NExT Kenya programme is in the context of the European Green Deal – a set of policy initiatives that seeks to make Europe climate neutral by 2050 and which in part calls for compliance with SPS and food safety standards for countries exporting fresh produce to the European Union.
Speaking during the digital NExT status event on April 29, Deputy Head of Delegation, EU to Kenya, Katrin Hagemann, mentioned that the EU is committed to helping Kenya ensuring Kenya’s compliance of horticultural exports to sanitary and phytosanitary standards under the next programme.
“This €5 million programme aims to secure lasting improvement in the capacity of all stakeholders to adapt to evolving sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS), commercial, social and environmental requirements on local, regional and international markets.”
“Kenya’s horticultural export trade continues to focus on Europe – made up of 27 Member States, with a population of around 506 million, the largest trading bloc in the world – and is looking to develop new destinations in Africa and beyond.” He added
On his part, Principal Secretary for Crops Development and Agricultural Research, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives, Prof. Hamadi Boga, underscored the importance of such investments in ensuring the competitiveness of Kenyan horticultural products in the global market.
NExT Kenya targets the whole value chains with specific focus on micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and the private and public services that support the horticultural sector.
The Programme Coordinator, Dr. Chagema Kedera, noted that one of the key aims of the NExT programme will be to reinforce capacity across the sector by involving both private and public players.
“A key aim of the programme is to reinforce the capacity of agribusinesses and Business Member Organisations (BMOs) in the sector, focusing on: good agricultural practices; compliance with standards and market requirements; access to markets; market intelligence; access to finance, and business skills.
At the same time, the programme sets to improve the capacity of the public sector especially the competent authorities to strengthen the competitiveness of the Kenyan origin.”